Adults-only water park in Texas sees boom in customers from outside the state

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 7:54 AM PDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX/Gray News) – Adults looking for a day of fun in the sun without their kids have been traveling across the country to visit The Cove at Bear-X in Texas.

“This summer is drastically different because we’re actually getting people that are coming from all over the U.S., from out of state and not just from Austin and Dallas and Houston,” CEO Heath Phillips told KBTX.

The Cove has been a popular summer spot for locals for six seasons, but this year a viral post on social media attracted more out-of-town guests.

Phillips said a guest posted a video on TikTok in May about the park that had more than 2.5 million views.

“I opened my email up one Saturday and we had hundreds of reservation inquiries coming through and thousands of more followers on Instagram within a day,” Phillips said.

Phillips realized the words “adults only” really resonated with adults who are looking for a place to go and have fun without children or young teenagers.

“It’s a place where you’re an adult, but you get to go and experience fun again like when you were a kid,” Phillips said. “As we get older and become adults, you know responsibilities increase and life can be tough and our opportunities to have fun and experience joy slow down. So, we created a place where you can come to still have that fun.”

The park features a massive lazy river, VIP bungalow and cabana rentals, a proflow surfing machine, a wakeboard cable park, a swim-up bar, a pizza restaurant, yard games, and live music.

The unexpected spike in guests is also catching the attention of tourism officials in the area.

“It’s just tremendous for us, because when people come in, especially from out of town or out of state, not only are they going to that amenity, but they’re coming to our restaurants, they’re coming to our retailers and they’re staying overnight,” said Aubrey Nettles, Marketing Manager of Economic Development and Tourism at Visit College Station.

Phillips is looking to possibly expand the park at its current location and plans to meet with city officials to see how they can capitalize on the attention next summer.

The Cove’s final day for this season is Sunday, September 11.